Pan-roasted Black Angus hamburger from Clark's Oyster Bar | Dan Gentile/Thrillist
Food & Drink

Austin's Essential Burger Bucket List

Updated On 03/19/2018 at 06:17PM EST
Courtesy of pool burger

The Deep End

Pool Burger

Address and Info

Lake Austin Blvd

Pool Burger, the new burgers-and-tiki-drinks concept near Deep Eddy Pool is a summer-y, tropical dream. Step up to the vintage airstream trailer for The Deep End: a Triple Pool Burger (¼-pound patties) with Swiss cheese, bacon, fresh jalapeños, and dijonnaise. Be sure to wash it down with a classic Zombie, served in an equally classic tiki cup.

Courtesy of Jeffrey's

Dry-Aged Prime Wagyu Burger

Jeffrey's

Address and Info

Clarksville

The dry-aged prime wagyu burger with mustard frisée, cambozola, caramelized onion, horseradish, caper mayo, and steak fries is served in the bar for an eye-popping $26. Fear not, however, as Jeffrey’s offers happy hour every day from 4pm-6pm and all night on Monday with half-off bar food (including the wagyu burger) and $2 off all drinks.

Courtesy of Mattie's

Grassfield Farms Beef Burger

Mattie's

Address and Info

South Austin

The Grassfield Farms Beef Burger at Mattie’s -- one of the best restaurants in Austin right now -- is served with Irish Cheddar, sweet onion dip, and house frites. Mattie’s dreamy surroundings, including ancient live oak trees and magnificent white-feathered peacocks roaming the fields, only add to the experience.

Courtesy of Boiler Nine Bar + Grill

B9 Burger

Boiler Nine Bar + Grill

Address and Info

Downtown

This classic, hearty burger is a signature dish available at all three levels of Boiler Nine, complete with ground black Angus (or grilled tempeh!), red onion jam, sharp cheddar, comeback sauce, and a toasted bun, with optional add-ins including grilled jalapeños, avocado, egg, or pork belly. Protip: Get the steak fries. You won’t regret it.

Dry-Aged Wagyu Cheeseburger

Dai Due

Address and Info

Manor Road

Dai Due’s Dry-Aged Wagyu Cheeseburger is served with their house sauce especial, dill pickles and a side of tallow Fries -- it’s also only available as part of a weekly special at the Cherrywood restaurant, which serves them every Tuesday evening from 5pm until they run out.

Courtesy of Hut's Hamburgers

The Dagburger

Hut's Hamburgers

Address and Info

West Sixth

Any trip to burger institution Hut’s -- open since 1939! -- comes with a dose of Austin nostalgia and a side of enormous hand-battered onion rings. The Dagburger is a classic burger with double meat (choose from Texas Longhorn beef, chicken, or buffalo) and American cheese, mayo, lettuce, and tomatoes. On Wednesday nights from 6-10pm, Hut's offers a Hamburger Happy Hour with a two-for-one burger deal.

Courtesy of Hopdoddy

Primetime burger

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Address and Info

Congress Avenue & other locations

The Franklin Barbecue of burger joints offers choices with every imaginable flavor combination... but the Primetime burger (with Texas Akaushi beef, brie cheese, arugula, caramelized onions, truffle aioli, steak sauce, and tomato) incites a particularly mouthwatering reaction.

Hopfields

Pascal burger

Hopfields

Address and Info

Hyde Park

Hopfields' famous Pascal burger is very delicious and very French, served with melted Camembert cheese, whole grain mustard, caramelized onions, cornichons (those fun-sized pickles) and golden frites.

Dan gentile/Thrillist

Congress burger

Second Bar + Kitchen

Address and Info

Congress Avenue

The Congress burger is the Rolls Royce of Austin burgers; ground brisket & chuck, Gruyere cheese, shallot confit, and horseradish pickles, with the option to double the meat and cheese, add pork belly, avocado, fried egg, and seared foie gras. The baller move, as you might expect, is to add it all.

Courtesy of Launderette

Plancha burger

Launderette

Address and Info

East Cesar Chavez

Your move is simple at this former laundromat: order the Plancha burger, which mixes beef with a bit of bacon, and is served on a soft challah bun with a mayo-based “secret sauce” and a side of house pickles.

The Dude

Lebowski's Grill

Address and Info

North Burnet Road

This kitschy grill inside Highland Lanes serves up delectably greasy burgers -- the kind that are somehow more delicious because you’re in a bowling alley. We like to keep it simple with The Dude: a half-pound Angus patty with pickles, tomatoes, onions, mayo, and mustard.

RICHARD CASTEEL/COURTESY OF ODD DUCK

House burger

Odd Duck

Address and Info

South Lamar

During lunch hours (weekdays, 11:30am-2:30pm), grab Odd Duck’s heavenly house burger; the Tex-Mex-inspired flavor bomb combines Richardson Farms’ beef, spicy pepper jack cheese, refried bean mayo, pico de gallo, and a crunchy tostada for a delicious chalupa-in-a-burger effect.

Courtney Pierce/Courtesy of Vince Young Steakhouse

Wagyu brisket burger

Vince Young Steakhouse

Address and Info

Downtown

Along with its melt-in-your-mouth perfect steaks, Vince Young Steakhouse has a killer wagyu brisket burger with cheddar, house-made pickles, and hand-cut fries. Pro tip: the normally $23 burger is only $10 during happy hour (Monday-Saturday, 5-7pm) in the restaurant’s bar/lounge.

Top Notch Hamburgers

Charcoal cheeseburger

Top Notch

Address and Info

Crestview

Old-school drive-in Top Notch is known for its distinctly smoky burgers, the flavor of whichis achieved via charcoal broiling. The burger choices here are all fairly simple, but you can’t go wrong with the classic cheeseburger (cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce, pickles, and onions).

Annie Whitehead

Pan-roasted Black Angus hamburger

Clark's Oyster Bar

Address and Info

Clarksville

The well-loved (and tall) burger at Clark’s is made up of Black Angus beef (best when medium-rare), melted Gruyère cheese, and gribiche sauce (mayo-style sauce with tangy capers and Worcestershire), and served on a crisp brioche bun. It also comes with a pile of shoestring fries, perfect for eating by the handful.

Arlo's

Bac'n Cheeze Burger

Arlo's

Address and Info

East Cesar Chavez & other locations

This vegan food truck has burgers that are so ridiculously packed with flavor, it’s easy to forget you’re not actually eating meat. Get the munchie-worthy Bac'n Cheeze Burger, which has a house-made soy & gluten-free patty, house-made seitan “bac'n," melted “cheeze," vegan mayo, ketchup, and veggies. You’ll find Arlo’s trucks at Cheer Up Charlies, The Grackle, and Spider House, each of which serve this tasty burger.

Sirloin bacon cheeseburger

Luke's Inside Out

Address and Info

South Lamar

Depending on who you ask, Luke’s Inside Out makes the best burger in Austin. The intense flavor they manages to pack into this thing is undeniable, with juicy beef, house-made pimento cheese, Roma tomatoes, baby spinach, bacon, and “love sauce” (mayo, mustard, barbecue sauce, and ketchup) between two not-too-thick buns, which allow you to get a taste of every component with each bite.

Bacon and Brie burger

The Jackalope

Address and Info

Sixth Street

Beloved Rock 'n' roll haunt The Jackalope also happens to be home to a consistently awesome burger. It’s hard to choose a favorite between the Black and Blue Cheeseburger (blackened beef, blue cheese crumbles & dressing, pickles) or the bacon and Brie burger (brie, bacon, caramelized onions, pickles, Caesar dressing) -- but the edge goes to bacon, though.

Carrie Ryan/Courtesy of Parkside

Salted white cheeseburger

Parkside

Address and Info

Sixth Street

Parkside’s cheeseburger -- high-grade beef, bakery roll, fancy white cheese, fresh veggies -- is regularly $14, but is 50% off during the very generous happy hour (weekdays, 5-6:30pm), along with cocktails, oysters, and more!

Amarillo burger

Casino El Camino

Address and Info

Sixth Street

The bar known for its rockabilly, “old” Austin ‘tude is also known for its Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives-approved burger. Try the famous (and hot) Amarillo burger: three-quarters of a pound of Angus beef, with serrano chilis, jalapeño Jack cheese, and cilantro mayo.

Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria

The Butcher burger

Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria

Address and Info

East Seventh

The Butcher Burger is exactly what it sounds like: a hulking slab of local beef ground in-house, cooked to medium-rare juiciness, and paired with pickles & mayo on a brioche roll. The equally rustic fries are crisped in savory beef fat.

Burger on sourdough

Lee's Meat Market

Address and Info

Hyde Park

This old-school butcher shop has one of the best burgers in town; the seasoned beef has a nice crispy sear, and comes with classic veggies and your choice of cheese. The sweet sourdough bun puts it over the edge.

Courtesy of Justine's Brasserie

Royale With Cheese

Justine's Brasserie

Address and Info

East Austin

The sexy French restaurant located just off the beaten path has an equally sexy burger in its Royale With Cheese. The toasted ciabatta roll holds Angus beef (seared quickly on a very hot grill), with Gruyère cheese, butter lettuce, mayo, and tomato, and served with the oh-my-god-I-can’t-stop-eating frites.

Hunter Townsend

Double slider

Delray Cafe

Address and Info

Central East Austin

Brought to you by the Hunt brothers behind Via 313, this trailer can be found on the patio of brand new “anytime bar” Nickel City, located in the former Longbranch Inn space. Delray Cafe puts out Detroit-style Coney dogs, wings, and other goodies, but it also flips a mean slider -- a double in this case, with a pair of 2-ounce beef patties, cheese, and grilled onions on a soft steamed bun.

Sara Ploof

Bison burger

District Kitchen + Cocktails

Address and Info

Circle C

District Kitchen + Cocktails’ local, seasonal cuisine in an unstuffy atmosphere makes it a neighborhood gem, and the bison burger here is not to be missed. Sharp white Cheddar, romaine lettuce, house-made pickles, farm tomato, red onion, dijonnaise, a fresh-baked brioche bun, and fries are the perfect accoutrements to the juicy bison (yes, buffalo meat) patty. If you've never had bison before, think of it as a really, really lean version of ground beef.

Alison Narro

Bombshell burger

Holy Roller

Address and Info

West Sixth

This new, punk rock diner -- helmed by Callie Speer and Jen Keyser, both formerly of Geraldine’s -- is packing the house thanks to its playful take on Southern fare and craft cocktails. We're deeply in love with the Bombshell burger: a beef patty topped with shaved ham, American cheese, hash browns, house-made ketchup, and a fried egg. Pro tip: Sundays = brunch all day, at a place that’s already one of Austin’s very best brunch spots!

Anastacia Uriegas/Thrillist

Cheeseburger

Bonhomie

Address and Info

Allandale

There’s no other way to say it: this burger is DE-CA-DENT. Get ready for double-stacked meat, melty cheese, onion, pickle, and dijonnaise between a perfectly buttery bun at Philip Speer’s French-inspired diner (one of the best restaurants in Austin right now). Try the cheeseburger with a stack of crunchy onion rings served with malt vinegar, if you feel like kicking things into even-higher gear.

Chisum Pierce

44 Farms burger

drink.well.

Address and Info

Hyde Park

Punctuation aside, drink.well. is a cocktail enthusiast’s haven -- and it also happens to have one of the most crave-worthy burgers in Austin. The 44 Farms burger (so-named for its use of 44 Farms beef) is a patty topped with white Cheddar, bibb lettuce, tomato, pickles, and house sauce on a homemade brioche bun, served with pink peppercorn aioli. Protip: Add the black pepper bacon. You deserve it.

Cheeseburger

Crown & Anchor Pub

Address and Info

Campus

Crown & Anchor is the quintessential Longhorns football fan haunt; expect hoards of alumni on game day, and a red basket cradling the pub's famous burger. The no-frills cheeseburger is a simple beef patty with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, and mayo served on a white bun, but it somehow manages to trump even the fanciest of burgers in the flavor department.

Up Next
Mattie's | Nick Simonite
Food & Drink

Austin's Best New Restaurants of 2017

Published On 11/13/2017
T here were plenty of restaurant openings in Austin this year, but the best ones all had a few things in common: comforting, un-gimmicky foods, served in chic surroundings, by (unsurprisingly) the top culinary talent in the city. They may not be the places with 4-dollar-sign price points, or the ones with two-hour weekend waits, but each of the restaurants below quickly earned top spots on Austin’s “You’ve gotta eat here” board. Whether you start with pimento and peacocks on the patio of a historic Victorian home, or by submitting your naughtiest behavior into a confessional box after an order of fries and soft serve, you’ll enjoy eating your way through Austin’s best new restaurants of 2017.
Thomas Allison / Thrillist

Bonhomie

Burnet Avenue

Casual-yet-refined French/American diner with classic cocktails
Chosen as one of Thrillist's Prime 13 best new restaurants of 2017, this French bistro/American diner mashup features the tinge of Asian flavors you’d expect from chef Philip Speer, former director of culinary operations at Uchi. Don’t expect to find any pretension here -- Bonhomie is approachable, casual, comforting, and yes, affordable! The double-meat burger is oozing with Dijonnaise and cheese, the pommes rosti are crispy potato birds’ nests with toppings like roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, and spinach (our favorite), and the croque monsieur and French onion soup are so over-the-top-rich that you practically have to share them. There are no literally no wrong choices, except not dining here -- or drinking here, thanks to the full bar and fantastic cocktail list.

Robert Lerma

Holy Roller

Downtown

Comfort food, cocktails, and kitsch from pastry chef Callie Speer
Callie Speer, former pastry chef of Swift’s Attic and Geraldine’s, opened punk rock diner Holy Roller as a labor of love, alongside an all-star team of women including beverage director Jen Keyser. The menu is full of comfort food, and each Texas classic is stamped with Callie Speer’s signature whimsy, like the addictive Trash Fries (gravy, sunny-side egg, sour cream, corn, lime, and cotija cheese) and the migas kolache (stuffed with queso, crispy potatoes, and jalapeño). Better still, Holy Roller caters to Austin’s brunch-obsessed masses by serving it all day on Sundays, including the Sunday School menu of pastries and tasty cocktails based off the Seven Deadly Sins. Drop a confession note in the box by the bathroom, and it might just get chosen as inspiration for Holy Roller’s next special cocktail.

Kemuri Tatsu-ya

East Austin

Mash-up of a Texas smokehouse and a Japanese gastropub
Describing Kemuri Tatsu-ya to the uninitiated gets convoluted: a Japanese izakaya in a former Eastside BBQ joint, with Texas influences and a killer Japanese whisky selection? Sure. The menu starts with bites like the uber-popular, Gouda-and-brisket-stuffed Hot Pocketz, and ends with ramen served with a thick dipping broth and fiery jalapeños, but not without a few twists and turns along the way. The “odd bits” menu offers tiny dishes of the (very) funky squid marinated in its own guts, as well as sweet and sour marinated jellyfish, while the yakitori offerings range from familiar chicken meatballs to challenging chicken hearts. And don’t even get us started on the cocktail program; arguably one of the best in Austin, the menu features fun, shareable portions served in kitschy vessels (like the Matcha Pain Killer, served in a cat-shaped cup). Think of Kemuri Tatsu-ya as a choose-your-own-adventure dining experience; stay in your comfort zone or get weird, it’s all up to you. Whatever you do, though, order a crisp Orion lager: it gives your go-to light beer a run for its money.

Nicolai McCrary

Soursop

South Congress

Pan-Asian fusion served on the patio of a craft brewery
Soursop, the pan-Asian trailer serving bar food on the patio of St. Elmo Brewing Co. is a standout in the neighborhood, the food truck landscape, and Austin in general for a few reasons: inventive flavor profiles, the fact that St. Elmo’s beers magically pair with everything on the menu, and the culinary team’s (possibly tongue-in-cheek?) shrine to Guy Fieri. Menu offerings occasionally change, but our favorites don’t appear to be going anywhere -- namely the Water-Burger (a refreshing burger made with ground chuck and brisket, caramelized onion ranch, lettuce, marinated cucumber, garlic pepper, and toasted rice powder), and the huge, sticky sambal wings (jumbo whole wings, Thai chili, palm sugar, fish sauce, coconut vinegar, peanut, mint).

Charles Reagan

Native Hostel

East Austin

Upscale hostel and bar serving modern diner classics
Hip digs and a kitchen with generous hours add up to Austin’s newest hotspot for sleeping, eating, drinking, and checking out live music and DJs. The kitchen has everything an Austin guest (or resident) could want, comforting diner food, brunch and lots of vegetarian options. With picks like the fried chicken sandwich (pickle brined chicken, dill pickles, pickled peppers, mayo) and the meatless chilaquiles (veggie chorizo, corn tortilla chips, pickled peppers, tomato, avocado, queso and sunny-side-up egg), this is the sort of food that late dinners and (ahem, challenging) breakfasts require. Pro tip: Native serves brunch until 3pm on weekends.

El Chipirón

South Lamar

Spanish tapas and cocktails found on first floor of residential building
A new kid on the block, El Chipirón earns its stripes with Spanish tapas and pintxos in a modern Euro setting alongside a lovely cocktail menu with an emphasis on gin and tonics (like The Tejano, which involves lots of smoke and herbs). The menu is decked out with meat and cheese boards, small plates, and a couple of large options like the juicy lomo de vaca (44 Farms strip steak, Padrón pepper, LaFou demi-glace, tomato, potato); standouts include the squid ink (colored and flavored) black rice with squid, mussels and scallops and tabla de ibéricos loaded with Spanish chorizo, Iberian ham, salchichón, and accoutrements.

Laura Hajar

Pitchfork Pretty

East Cesar Chavez

Stylish eatery taking a chef-forward approach to modern Southern fare
Helmed by executive chef Max Snyder, Pitchfork Pretty appeared seemingly out of nowhere -- before anyone realized what happened, East Cesar Chavez was home to a design-forward, A-frame building with a mix of chef-y small plates and hearty fried chicken, and cocktails that satisfy both the cucumber margarita and whiskey crowds. The concept is hard to pin down but easy to fall in love with. Critics are rightly swooning over the pickled quail egg on crispy leeks -- a perfect bite consumed like you would an oyster -- and the gluten-free, chickpea flour-breaded fried chicken brined in a habanero vinegar.

bao'd up

Bao'd Up

Mueller

Fast casual joint for steamed buns and bubble tea
Bao’d Up, Mueller’s new steamed-bun-dedicated restaurant from chef Ting Li, is making waves with its bite-size offerings made with the sticky, steamed bread in multiple forms: baozi, mantou, gua bao, and bao fries. We like the simple BBQ pork bao and Szechuan fries topped with spicy mayo, sesame, and green onion, and no trip to Bao’d Up is complete without a build-your-own bubble drink; the matcha and taro are favorites.

Nick Simonite

Mattie's

Bouldin Creek

Elevated Southern cuisine served among live oaks and peacocks
The former Green Pastures (which now refers solely to the event space), Mattie’s is the revamped new concept from Austin developer Greg Porter and La Corsha Hospitality -- which operates Second Bar + Kitchen and Boiler Nine. With its marble countertops, exquisite light fixtures, copper hardware, and textured wallpaper that begs to be touched, the new skin applied to the home’s old bones is incredibly gorgeous to behold. The menu is also just as impressive, whether you’re having dinner in one of the many dining rooms or on the lawn alongside the resident peacocks. Southern dishes sprinkled with French and Asian influence as well as untouched classics like pimento cheese and fried chicken eggs Benedict sparkle at Mattie’s... just as much as the dreamy surroundings.

Taras Zaluzhny
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A City-Dweller’s Guide to Exploration

Published On 10/15/2018
Courtesy of Hank's
Food & Drink

The Best Places to Eat in Austin Right Now

Updated On 07/17/2018 at 03:19PM EST